22 Carbine Experimental Cartridge

I didn’t see any information on this forum on this cartridge, so I wanted to add some information.
Please feel free to add any information, or correct me if any errors as my information comes from the internet and maybe in error, I did measure the different cartridges in the information.
22 Carbine Experimential Cartridge

Center Comparison Photo left to Right: (1.) 22 Carbine Experimental, 2.) 222 Remington, 3.) 5.56 NATO
Please note, the 22 carbine Experimental is not a necked down 30 Carbine. It has a thicker case and a larger diameter rim. 22 carbine has a .371" rim, same as the 222 Remington vs. .352" on the 30 Carbine rim.
The Winchester Olin Project SALVO cartridge board of the mid-1950s, (above right Photo, highlighted in gray) includes this
very scarce cartridge, called (Cal. .22 Carbine).
The 22 Carbine had an unconventional 41 grain FMJ projectile and a military contract head-stamp of WCC 54. (1954).
This was the first Project Salvo Experimental Cartridge, with many more cartridges from different U.S. Manufacturers which lead to the U.S. Military 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and commercial .223 Remington
cartridge used today.

Thank you,
David Call

Here is Part 1 of an article I wrote on the SCHV cartridges some time ago. It may be in the forum archives too. I can’t remember if I posted it here. I have a few of the Gustafson cartridges, If anyone is interested I can dig out photos and post them.


[i]In early 1952, Aberdeen Proving Ground was given verbal approval of a proposal to investigate the merit of small-caliber, high-velocity cartridges for use in rifles and carbines. If old guard Ordnance Department officers had known that this seemingly harmless project would eventually lead to adoption of the M16 rifle and the 5.56x45 cartridge, there probably would have been a concentrated effort to nip it in the bud. But, they didn’t and there wasn’t.

The project leader was Gerald A. Gustafson, Chief, Small Arms and Aircraft Weapons Branch. Because of the project’s low priority and small budget, Gustafson took a very practical approach. All fixtures, barrels, chambering reamers, loading dies, and test carbines were made by the Weapons Branch gunsmith shop. Ammunition was assembled using commercial components and standard loading presses. Gustafson himself, being an expert marksman, even participated in the test firing.

In summary, a standard caliber 30, M2 carbine was modified to fire a new caliber 22 cartridge by fitting and chambering a new barrel contoured to the standard carbine profile. The cartridge itself was fabricated by shortening commercial 222 Remington cases to 1.320", loaded with 41 grain Sisk Super Lovell bullets ahead of IMR 4198 or 4227 powders. Gustafson was obviously a wildcatter at heart.

Over the course of the next nine months the cartridge was subjected to the usual pressure, functioning, velocity, penetration, and accuracy tests. It was concluded that the carbine was capable of good performance when firing 22 caliber bullets in excess of 3000 fps. When compared with the cal 30 M2 it was found to be superior in all respects. It was recommended that five carbines and 20,000 rounds of ammunition be procured and further tested to learn if the combination offered any military advantages over what was currently employed. The cartridge was included in the SALVO I tests in 1956.

While the CAL 22 CARBINE, as Gustafson called it, was not developed further it was the opening salvo (pun intended) of the Small Caliber High Velocity concept. The horse was out of the barn. Subsequent attempts to put it back would be in vain.[/i]

The technician on the project was M Dave Perrin and I think he did most of the actual work and testing, or that is the way he told it. I know he had a cardboard box about 6"x8"x8" full of loose cartridges in his basement back about 1987.

The 22 Carbine is a historically significant round. Gerald Gustafson told me that he did a study on the optimum small caliber infantry cartridge by extrapolating between the performance of the 22 Homologous and the 22 Carbine and that result was what Stoner, who was once Gustafson’s boss, used to come up with the 5.56mm round.

Very interesting cartridge.



In reading Gustafson’s 1953 report on the project, I noticed that he and Perrin did most of the test firing themselves, switching between weapons so as not to bias the findings. Together, they fired over 1000 rounds of hand-loaded 22 Carbine along with control firing of .30 Carbine, .45 TMG, and Cal .30 M1 Rifle.

Don’t you wish you had a handful of Perrin’s cartridges? I got my Gustafson cartridges from a friend who was a friend of Mike Walker who was a friend of Gustafson. I remember that I took them only because I was into Wildcats at the time!


It’s not generally known that Gustafson and Perrin actually loaded and tested two different bullets for the 22 Carbine. The 41 grain Sisk soft point and a 35 grain FMJ RN Hornet bullet. In fact, the drawing that was submitted with the report shows the round nose bullet. I think they opted for the Sisk bullet because of its weight and the fact that it was pointed.

Somewhere in one of my cigar boxes I have one of the cartridges with the RN bullet. This thread has renewed my interest in the 22 Carbine so now I’ll have to spend some of my valuable TV-watching time to find it.


Thought I’d help fill out the thread.
Two boxes, both 2-piece half-cover. Typewritten label has the W C C 5 4 rounds and the printed label has 56 dated rounds

Ray, Sometimes the best finds I make for my collection are in the stuff sitting around in my crowded office and in the storeroom.

Perrin was working on a 9mm round and a mutual friend put him in contact with me. I sent him some drawings I had of some British experimental 9mms and he used they for the ogive if his initial bullets. We got to be pretty good friends. I was on active duty back then and got into DC regularly, and would drive up after work, or fly up in the morning and see him in the afternoon before my meetings. He had done a lot of wild stuff and he was actually the designer of the cartridge that became the FN P90. Over a drink someday I’ll tell you the story. I’d often have supper with he and his wife, or on occasion take them out to dinner. I use to bring batches of 9mm, often WWII German and other odd stuff up for him to do comparison testing. He was building a new house but had not moved in, but had his ammo stored in the basement. He had cans of 280/30 cases. These were about 8"x8"x8" square with a screw on metal lid. All kinds of boxes with XM this and XM that on the labels. If I showed interest he use to give me stuff, but I tried to keep that to a minimum and was only really interested in the 9mm. I had no idea on the XM stuff what was good and what was ordinary. Most of it didn’t look unusual out of the box. he had a good deal of the Homologous series stuff and I did get a bit of that from him. His brother lived in Columbus Ohio and I’d see him at the OGCA shows. I wish I had written down all the stories he told. He broke his hip and retired. The last time I saw him, Kathleen and I were waiting for a space available flight to Europe for the ECRA meeting and went down one afternoon and took them out to the Annapolis Mess for lunch and had what is probably the best crabcake I’ve ever eaten. He was having trouble getting around and had other medical problems and died only a few months later. I never asked what happened to the ammo in his basement. He had a lot of old friends in the area and I assume they got it.


[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Thought I’d help fill out the thread.
Two boxes, both 2-piece half-cover. Typewritten label has the W C C 5 4 rounds and the printed label has 56 dated rounds
They look like the one I purchased. Thanks Pete.

Thanks for adding information , in the future, people can check it out and learn. Which should be the reason for this great forum. Learning the history of each different caliber and versions. Best to all Dave Call